Villa Maria Lodge 2020 Fishing Reports
Jan 31-Feb 7 & Feb 7-14, 2020
Villa Maria Lodge
January 31-February 7, 2020
For our fifth week of the season, we welcomed back Bruno, Mike, Michael, and Sandee. During our warm-up session, as we expected, the river rose from the heavy rain up in the headwaters that hit the region in the previous week. Even with the rising river, we were very optimistic about the week to come because of the steady weather that was forecasted.
As predicted the first day started with a bang with several nice fish coming to hand from all of our beats. The river was slightly off-color and it seemed that with the right setups, flies, and persistence the fish were more than willing to take a fly. Throughout the week we had a consistent stream of algae floating down the river but with a fresh run of fish in the system, there were still some great fish caught.
In the middle of the week, we had warm calm days that allowed us to try new methods which included some topwater flies. This resulted in some incredibly exciting action. A few of the week’s highlights included Michael’s first two sessions during which he landed 9 beautiful fish who were all in double-digit territory. He also had an amazing 18-pounder, who rose from the depths to take a skating Bomber.
Longtime fishing friends Bruno and Michael enjoyed each other’s company, swiss chocolates, and a beautiful 20 lb male. Sandee had consistent action all week and wrapped it up with a great chrome 18 lb from our upper beat. Although he struck out trying to get a fish on a Bomber like Michael, he was lucky enough to hook a couple and rise several other fish when the conditions were right to try them.
The rods and lines we prefer to use are classics here at Villa Maria Lodge. Two-handed rods from 12’-13’6” were the most comfortable options to fish. Switch or single-handed rods were better suited when fishing on the surface.
As you can tell from the report above, we were fishing the entire water column this week, from the surface to as deep as we could, dependent on the pool and the conditions, so sink tips of various lengths and weight were used, but we can say that T14 was the best all round.
The river is dropping and clearing up as I type, so we expect a good week for the upcoming group at Villa Maria Lodge!
Alejandro Martello. Villa Maria Head Guide
Villa Maria Lodge
February 7-14, 2020
This week we finally had the blessing of stable river conditions, something that the previous weeks were lacking. For the first time this season, we didn’t have any shift in water coloration or river depth. What was challenging, however, were the winds. This week, they seemed to blow from any imaginable direction, making the fishing a bit tough at moments. We had to be very careful in planning the fishing sessions as there were pools that needed to be fished during the right moments in the day to avoid the windiest conditions.
This resulted in a couple of challenging days to start out the week but we were still getting big fish to the fly. Nigel started his week with two very nice and fresh fish of 17 and 19 lbs in the first session.
By the third day, the fishing really picked up and all our returning guests started to get into a groove, all landing fish on various beats around our section of the river. The day was capped-off by Gilbert’s stunning 22-pounder that, of course, required a proper celebration with his favorite Hardy brandy and fantastic Neuhaus Belgian chocolate. Kelly also found his fish of the week, landed after a hard-fought battle on both sides, his fish tipping the scale at an amazing 23 lbs. Aline, Kelly’s fishing partner, followed up the 23 lber with a beautiful 17 lb chromer only minutes after Kelly’s fish was released. David and Joe had a few tough days on the water but landed some solid fish up to 17 lbs and lost a handful of heartbreakers, hopefully, we will see them again next season to get revenge on some of those monsters.
The last evening the weather was tough and most of our guests decided to return to the lodge early to pack and get ready for our traditional Tapas Night, but Gilbert decided to continue fighting and he got his reward landing four fish, 10,13, 17 & 18 lbs, respectively while fishing in far less than ideal fishing conditions.
In the tackle department, there were no surprises and the usual skagit+heavy sink tips were the top choices. As far as flies were concerned, the selection was our usual: green machines, leeches, and different sized rubber legged flies being the most productive.
Alejandro Martello. Villa Maria Lodge Head Guide.